What type of leader do you want to be?
If someone were to ask you what your brand of leadership looks like, what would you say?
Have you thought about how you reached the point of leading that you are today?
Sure we all want to make valuable contributions and feel that others see our worth. But how exactly can we lead so that our team members and colleagues see our unique capabilities and gifts?
Perhaps the most powerful way is through storytelling.
Through storytelling we can be impactful leaders if we are able to share our thoughts and vision with excitement. But to capture the imaginations of our team members, colleagues and bosses we need to sell our dreams. Through our storytelling people are able to connect with us emotionally and that’s the way they will remember us and choose our products and services.
I have been reading Marie Perruchet’s inspiring book, “One Perfect Pitch”, which I highly recommend. In her book she talks about the importance of creating a great story:
“Learning to tell your personal story is about taking what you already know and crafting it into a compelling and relatable story that will help you sell yourself, your cause, and your business.”
Here are seven tips to creating a powerful leadership story:
1. THINK ABOUT YOUR PAST
We all have both professional and personal experiences that contributed to who we are today. Look back on your career path and life encounters. Just think about where you started and how you ended up where you are at this moment. What were your previous work worlds like? Who did you meet that impacted the direction you decided to pursue?
2. IDENTIFY CRITICAL TURNING POINTS
We all have those moments that something major “clicked” within our minds and hearts.
- Did you miss out on your dream job but plan “B” worked out better than you ever expected?
- Did you have a boss who saw your potential that was invisible to you?
- Did a customer help you to refine your product and service in a way you never thought of?
- Did you have to make a move for a family member that you thought would destroy your career trajectory?
3. WRITE IT OUT
Begin the process of writing down your memories using vivid language and details. It is important to be as specific as possible so that others will see that your story is authentic and relatable. Be clear and show how you resolved a real dilemma.
4. DECIDE HOW YOU WILL COMMUNICATE IT
The way you communicate your story is as important as the story itself. What type of tone and body language will you use? Will there be laughter? People love both serious moments and humor. Will you use pictures or other visuals? At the end of the day, we want to make people care.
5. SHARE IT FIRST WITH A SAFE PERSON
Practice your story with friends and confidants whom you trust. Dry runs can be so helpful as they afford us the chance to make mistakes and test our comfort levels.
6. HONOR THE FEEDBACK
If we want our storytelling to be the best it can be, we need to be open to feedback.
- Listen with the understanding that we can create an even stronger story
- Ask tons of questions to make sure your message is crystal clear
- Include the suggestions and look at them as a gift
- Be appreciative of the input others share, but use what is meaningful for you
7. PROMOTE YOUR STORY AND HAVE FUN
When you are finished, enjoy sharing your story! Choose many different venues to promote it – network events, one-on-ones, social media, emails. Believe you can be a great storyteller with a great story to share.
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